Thursday, 10 May 2007

Unusual Seeds

I've just blown six months of savings on buying rare and wondrous seeds.
I convinced myself that this was for our stall at the Fern Avenue Community Gardens Open Garden Day on 20th May 2007, but truthfully, I just like being surrounded by seeds! 220 new packets, plus my own stock of 100 varieties, should set me up nicely to be able to supply anyone wanting to propogate the weird and wonderful. Given time, I'll post my stock list to this blog-site, and we can actively save some of the rarer varieties, while eating well from the more commonly available herbs and vegetables. Here's a few samples, along with their descriptions, as posted By Eden Seeds up in Queensland on their excellent website at

EGGPLANT (Solanum melongena) From India, developed in Spain in 16th century. Growing conditions as for tomato, though Eggplant needs a longer growing season, treat as perennial in warmer climates, annual in cooler areas. Can sow indoors up to 8 weeks before transplanting, harden for one week by taking off heat and put in full sun. Picking regularly encourages production. Sow early spring. Seed count: 200-250 seeds per gram

TURKISH ORANGE Beautiful red-orange fruit, round to 75mm, abundant yields. 65-85 days. Seeds per packet: 50

OKRA (Abelmoschus esculentus) Annual bush to 1.2m, taken from Ethiopia in pre-historic times. Also know as Gumbo. Use similar growing conditions as tomatoes. Thrives in well drained soils in full sunlight. Harvest all pods when young at 7-10cm. Use fresh or dried in soups and stews. Sow after last frost. Seed count: 16 seeds per gram

STAR OF DAVID Extremely fat pods to 15cm, best picked at 7cm, old heirloom named because pod cross-section looks like the Star of David, plant to 2m with purple leaf views. 60-75 days. Seeds per packet: 30

PUMPKIN (Cucurbita species) Summer vine, originating from the America. Fruit kept for winter eating. For seed saving it is best to grow only one variety within 2km. Can save seeds from ripe fruit when eating. Likes rich soil. Harvest as vine dies off and stem dries out. Sow after last frost. Seed count: 5-12 seeds per gram

TRIAMBLE Large three-lobed fruit to 6kg, tough grey rind, deep orange flesh, sweet, firm and dry. Seeds per packet: 20

KALE (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)A primitive vegetable from the Mediterranean area. High in vitamin A, young leaves used like lettuce, older leaves cooked, like cabbage. Likes well drained soil with near neutral pH and sunny spot. Keep well watered. Mature plants tolerate frost. Sow late summer, autumn. Frost hardy. Seed count: 250-370 seeds per gram
CHOU MOELLIER (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) "The cultural details are the same as cabbages, the only difference is, it is harvested the same way as loose leaf lettuce, you just keep removing the bottom leaves. The plant grows 1 to 2 metres tall on a strong centre stem. The leaves are green and are much better eaten raw. It is an excellent plant leaf to feed poultry and they love it. ...I last grew it in 1938 and I have not seen the plant or seed since, until I found the present seed." Harry Pryce. Seeds per packet: 350


Kate said...

Hell's bells ! This is wonderful, Andrew ! Let me at those seeds and don't sell them all too soon !

Bryan said...

I will trade whatever for some seed. Its VERY RARE. I have a small seed bank - Please Share!!
San Diego, CA - Johnsonburg, PA

Peace and Love!